Letter of Intent for medical residency is a brief letter that tells the program residency that they are the applicant’s top-most choice and explain its reasons.
National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) organizes an application process, and applicants can use Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) or Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) to apply and compete for the spot in the residency program. The programs will then respond to you by calling for the medical residency interviews; once the interviews are over, you’ll be asked for Rank Order List (ROL) to rank your medical residency programs from most to least favorites.
Here is the part where you can secure your spot; this Rank Order List is asked from both sides, the applicants and residency programs. The ROL from both sides is a “Matchmaker” process. The applicants and residency programs have to be at the top of each other list.
The Letter of Intent for residency is a letter to the program that says you’re putting them as your top-most choice in the Rank Order List; it is a way you can convince them to rank you well.
Letter of Intent for residency is not mandatory to write; it can be a choice. Sometimes the applicants match with programs without it, though we suggest writing a letter of intent as it impacts the medical residency program. According to a survey, the programs prefer the applicants ranking high only if it’s vice-versa.
The residency interview calling happens during the fall or winter. After that, the NRMP opens up the ranking order list for the applicants and programs from the mid of January till the last week of February.
You’ve to be careful while sending the Letter of Intent, don’t send it too early; the residency program will forget to consider you, and if you send it too late, i.e., after the preparation of ROL, it’ll be of no use. Find a time in between this. The first week of February can be a good time as you’ll have more chances.
Always write the letter of intent for the residency program, which is your top choice. Don’t just write it in the letter that you’re going to rank the particular residency program first, but you didn’t do that on the ROL. This act will create a terrible impression on the program residency or the people you will study or work with within the program.
You can write an email or a hand letter. If you’ve less time or are near the deadline, it’s better to send an email, and if not, then you can write a hand letter.
The competition is high, but the right strategy is going to create an impact. It’s not mandatory to send a Letter of Intent, and even if you don’t top the residency program’s list, you’re to be satisfied that you did your best.
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